1 International Journal of Humanities & Social Science Studies (IJHSSS). A Peer-Reviewed Bi-monthly Bi-lingual Research Journal ISSN: 2349-6959 (Online), ISSN: 2349-6711 (Print). Volume-I, Issue-IV, January 2015, Page No. 117-129. Published by Scholar Publications, Karimganj, Assam, India, 788711. Website: An evaluative study on consumer rights in the context of business Dr. Arabinda Debnath Asst. Prof. and HOD of Humanities and Social Science, Engineering College, Kokrajhar, Assam, India &. Mrs. Manashi Mazumdar Asst. Prof., Dept. of Accountancy, Chhaygaon College, Assam, India Abstract In this paper an attempt is being taken to evaluate the present position of consumer rights in the field of business. In doing so, the entire paper is divided in to three parts. The first part entitled Theoretical Prospect' includes an Introduction, Meaning of consumer rights and Consumerism, Position of consumer rights in global context, Review of literature, Objectives and Methodology.
2 The second part entitled evaluative study on consumer rights in the Context of Business ' provides a comprehensive study of consumer rights such as Various dimensions of consumer rights , Needs of consumer rights and Measures of protection. The third part entitled Conclusion', where different findings as identified throughout the study are given. Accordingly some suitable suggestions are also put forward with a view to removing the above findings along with a conclusion. PART-I. Theoretical Prospect Introduction: consumer right is an immensely important aspect to be considered by every business house. Because by protecting consumer rights , business develop welfare to consumer and ensure justice and personal freedom to them and thereby modern society can move towards an advanced state of social development.
3 But in most of the modern business houses, it is seen that in majority cases, they frequently violate the consumer rights by supplying inferior goods, creating artificial food scarcities, providing incomplete information about the product and deceptive advertising etc. The law of the free marketplace causes competition among the various businesses, which creates variations in the quantity, quality and cost of the products that are in demand by the consumer . These products are marked in a number of ways that it is often difficult for the consumer to judge their quality adequately. Again more varieties of the same product encourage false advertising which claims and give the consumer a false sense of choice. On the other hand poor distribution and underutilization of food grains lead to violation of human rights by artificially-creating food scarcities in the country.
4 Considering these circumstances, there is a need of careful research work on the topic referred to here, so that this kind of research work can provide some effective guidelines to the business community, consumer as well as to general people of the society, by virtue of which they can maintain the necessary consumer rights in course of performing their respective activities. This type of research helps in enhancing consumer awareness towards their rights . Keeping in view this importance of the research work on consumer rights , the present study aims at discussing some important aspects of consumer rights in the context of business. These aspects include various dimensions of consumer rights , needs of consumer rights and measures of protection. Meaning of consumer rights and consumerism: consumer rights are the rights given to a " consumer " to protect him/her from being cheated by salesman/manufacturer/shopkeeper (Jain, ).
5 It is refer to a consumer 's right to safety, to be informed, to choose and to provide manufacturers with information concerning their products when they make a purchase. There are strong and clear laws in India to defend consumer rights . Out of the various laws that have been enforced to protect the Volume-I, Issue-IV January 2015 117. An evaluative study on consumer rights in the context Arabinda Debnath &. Manashi Mazumdar consumer rights in India, the most important is the consumer Protection Act, 1986 which define consumer right as the right to be protected against marketing of goods and services which are hazardous to life and property . Consumerism is a social as well as economic order which encourages the buying of goods and services in ever-greater amounts. In some places, the term consumerism refers to the organized movement of citizens and government agencies to improve the rights and power of buyers in relation to sellers (Kotler & Armstrong, 2009).
6 The consumer movement covers some extra rights such as adequate information of the product, proper protection against questionable products and influencing power on product for improving quality of life in addition to the traditional rights such as right not to buy a product, expect safety product and right to claim the expected performance from the product. In present situation, consumer protection has assumed to be greater importance and relevance. According to McMillan Dictionary (1985) Consumerism is concerned with protecting consumers from all organisations with which there is exchanged relationship. It encompasses the set of activities of government, business, independent organisations and concerned consumers that are designed to protect the rights of consumers . Position of consumer rights in global context: consumer protection is a set of regulations and legal framework designed to ensure the rights of consumers.
7 The key principles of consumer protection were first enshrined at an international level in the UN Guidelines for consumer Protection (UNGCP). The United Nations Guidelines on consumer Protection, 1985 stresses and urges the role of governments to develop and maintain a strong consumer protection policy. Now the Governments all over the world have been trying to build a strong legal and regulatory framework to ensure consumer interests and welfare. Consumers play an important role in the European Union (EU) economy and in the achievement of the political objectives of the European Union. The EU consumer Protection Cooperation (CPC). Regulation was adopted in 2004 to enhance the enforcement of EU consumer protection legislation in the internal market and the European economic area, as part of a package of measures to support consumers interests.
8 The European consumer Centers Network (ECC-Net) is a service with a human face providing consumers with information on their rights , and assistance with complaints on cross- border purchases within the EU. The consumer movement in Africa came into being over time as a result the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the deregulation of markets by governments which are implementing structural adjustments, and the influence of external activist organizations like Consumers International supporting community efforts to promote consumer protection. The Kenya Consumers'. Organization, the consumer Council of Zimbabwe, the Housewives League in South Africa, and the Institute for consumer Protection in Mauritius are among the most prominent and oldest of consumer organizations which formed before the late 1970s.
9 Again there are various pieces of powerful legislation in place to protect consumers, the most important being the consumer Protection Act (Act 68 of 2008) and the National Credit Act (Act 34 of 2005). Other consumer organisations are National consumer Commissions which is set up to administer the consumer Protection Act and came into effect in April 2011, National consumer Forum which is dedicated to the promotion and protection of consumer rights , South Africa National consumer Union that represents millions of consumers, Association for Savings and investment South Africa that aims to promote a culture of savings and investment in South Africa by working with regulators, government and its members, The Financial Services Board (FSB) an independent institution is committed to promoting and maintaining a sound financial investment environment in South Africa which regulates insurers, intermediaries, retirement funds, friendly societies, unit trust schemes, management companies, and financial markets and Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration which is a dispute resolution body established in terms of the Labour Relations Act (Act 66 of 1995).
10 In the United States a variety of laws at both the federal and state levels regulate consumer affairs. Among them are the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Truth in Lending Act, Fair Credit Billing Act, and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. Every year consumer Federation of America and the North American consumer Protection Investigators conduct a survey of state and local consumer protection agencies to ask about the top complaints they received the previous year, their biggest challenges and achievements, and their suggestions for new laws needed Volume-I, Issue-IV January 2015 118. An evaluative study on consumer rights in the context Arabinda Debnath &. Manashi Mazumdar to better protect consumers. These agencies provide direct information and assistance to the public.